Western “Understanding” of Muslim Turkey—Same Rec[e]pe for Disaster?

Pajamas Media has published my essay on Turkey’s rampant Jew hatred, epitomized by its current Prime Minister, Mas-Kom-Ya Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Just as Western European leaders of the 19th and early 20th centuries often chose to ignore  Ottoman Turkey’s brutal imposition of dhimmitude in their misguided, when not morally cretinous “understanding” of the “Eastern Question,” present era US and European leaders ignore both the  overt Jew hatred, and ongoing relegation of the vestigial remnant non-Muslim Christian populations in Turkey to de facto dhimmi status, under Erdogan’s Neo-Ottoman Turkish government.

Edward Augustus Freeman (d. 1892)

British historian EA Freeman’s descriptions from 1877 (in, The Ottoman Power in Europe) illustrate, depressingly, how little has changed—both the Turkish behaviors, and the Western reactions—during the interim 133 years, despite the World War I era jihad genocide of the Armenians.

Freeman portrayed accurately how the dhimmi Christians of the Ottoman Empire were non-citizen pariahs whose existence was characterized by extreme, unrelenting vulnerability—entirely consistent with the application of Islamic Law, as opposed to Western conceptions of human rights. Perhaps even more telling—and chilling—are his depictions of the perverse reactions of Western political elites and their acolytes amongst the “intelligentsia” to the plight of the non-Muslim victims of the Muslim Turks, and their Islamized indigenous population allies in southeastern Europe.

The rule of the Turk in short over the Christian nations under his power is a rule of mere force and not a rule of law. This must be so whenever a Mahometan government bears rule over subjects of any other religion…

The rule of a Mahometan power cannot be a rule of law to its subjects of any other religion; for them no law, strictly speaking, exists. They have not, as the people have in a constitutional state, any share, however indirect, in making the law. So far from having a share in making the law, the law is not even made in their interest or for their benefit, as it may be even in a despotic state, when the despot is really the head of the nation. In a Mahometan state the only law is the Koran, the sacred book of Mahomet; or rather it is not the Koran itself. But what the Koran has been made into by successive expounders and commentators. But the law thus made is a law made wholly in the interest of the Mahometan rulers, not at all in that of their Christian subjects. The Christian is in strictness out of the pale of the law; the utmost that he can do is to purchase certain rights, the security of his life, his property and the exercise of his religion, by the payment of tribute. So far as he is in theory entitled to ist protection, that protection is a mere name, because the witness of an infidel cannot by the Mahometan law be taken against a true believer. The Christian is thus absolutely without protection. Even supposing the court to deal quite justly according to its own rules, to punish all crimes which are proved according to its own rules, still a crime done by a Mahometan against a Christian can hardly ever be punished, because it can hardly ever be proved. If it be done in the presence of any number of Christian witnesses, but of Christian witnesses only, their witness cannot be taken and the crime cannot be punished…

Practically then a Mahometan may do what he chooses to a Christian with very little fear of being punished for it. It is plain that to apply the words ‘law,’ and ‘government’ to a state of things like this is a mere abuse of words. For the Christian subject of the Turk, law and government do not exist. The thing which usurps their name is not law and government, but simply a system of organized brigandage.

…To those who have studied these questions all their lives it is amusing to see how certain writers in the weekly and daily press, who have just found out for the first time that there are such beings as Slavonic-speaking Mussulmans [Muslims], are suddenly kindled with a burning zeal for the welfare of these same Slavonic speaking Mussulmans. The same men who think the slaughter of any number of Christians a mere joke, who sneer at humanity and philanthropy when Christians are their objects, who put “atrocity” in inverted commas when it is a Christian who suffers the atrocity, who put “insurrection” in inverted commas when it is a Christian who rises against his oppressor—these men are very eager, sometimes in sentences of wild screaming, sometimes in sentences of lumbering solemnity, to set forth the possible wrongs of the Bosnian Mahometans, in case Bosnia should ever be put under a Christian government. Those who sneer at philanthropy on behalf of a Christian victim can become wonderfully philanthropic on behalf of a Mussulman oppressor. Those who will not allow the “atrocity” of evil deeds when the Christian is the sufferer, shriek with horror at the “atrocity” the moment the Christian is the possible doer. Those who will hardly bring themselves to believe that the Turk is other than a suffering lamb clutch at the faintest shadow of rumour to pain the revolted patriot as a wolf.

Let this kind of folly pass.

 Such folly is still all too much with us.

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